Rant & Rave (17/02/13)

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The Independent Online


Thanks a bunch, scientists, for the latest research into the bizarre but apparently significant differences between male and female behaviour. This time, researchers at the University of Roehampton put 72 people through mock job interviews and mental arithmetic tests, before concluding that men who fidget more are less stressed and do better in mental tasks, while female fidgeters are more stressed and therefore worse at subsequently adding up. This is all very well, but the inference that has been drawn from this is that men should fidget during job interviews, and women should keep still. Reports of the research do not say whether the men and the women were together during the anxious, job interview stage, or whether the fidgeters and the non-fidgeters had to share a room together at any point. Could it not be that the fidgeters were so annoying that their quiet colleagues were completely distracted? Maybe the researchers at Roehampton should be telling both men and women: stop scratching yourselves, put the clicky pens down and BE QUIET! Then everybody could concentrate nicely on their tasks.


Opinions are divided about the appointment of James Purnell to the position of Strategy and Digital Director at the BBC. But let's raise a cheer to him for his first action: getting rid of some ridiculous management speak. Mr Purnell arrived and decided that, on the BBC Executive Board, the titles Director of Vision and Director of Audio and Music should be replaced with Director of Television and Director of Radio. Well done, Mr Purnell – keep up the plain English.